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Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Mon 30 Jan 2017, 22:20:36

Newfie wrote:But there you go, we are living on well less than 400 watt constant load energy budget. Roughly 6kWper day?

What is average for an American household? 30kW/day/person. So, for a family of 2, if we were average we would use 60kW. THATS where the potential savings are.

"In 2015, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual electricity consumption at 15,435 kWh per residential customer, and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,166 kWh per residential customer."
https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3


400W * 24h = 9.6 kWh/d
9.6 * 365d = 3504 kWh/a

EIA numbers are for households (1 household = 1 utility customer). The average American household in 2015 consisted of 2.54 people. If 2.54 people lived on your boat, you'd use 4450 kWh/a. Make it 5000 for the occasional generator use. You use half of the average US per-capita consumption.

How do you factor in stuff like radar?
"Outputs for traditional pulse style recreational boating radars range from 4kW to 25kW"
I just googled "boat radar power". No idea if that's typical, or if yours is much smaller. But let's say 6kW power, run one hour per day, that's another 2000 kWh/a. It's part of your electricity use, whether you pull it from the grid or the engine. Now you're at two thirds of average consumption already.

How do you cook your food? Wash your clothes? Come on. Nudge, nudge. We'll soon get you to 10,812. We'll buy you an XBox if we have to.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Mon 30 Jan 2017, 23:16:41

Z - " US consumption has almost doubled from 1980 to 2005 - and stayed essentially flat since then". And by comparison Texas electricity consumption has increased almost 25% since 2000. And, perhaps not coincidentally, our population has grown about 25% over that same period.

Back to the entire country. From
http://www.vaultelectricity.com/texas-e ... tag/ercot/

"For the 5th time since the 2008 recession retail electricit­y sales have actually declined. The biggest declines were seen in the industrial­ sector. While the residentia­l and commercial­ building sectors were more or less flat. It's a result of a number of factors. In the residentia­l sector, the number of households­ has increased. Yet energy efficiency­ regulation­s and improvemen­ts the energy efficiency of newly constructed homes have offset the effect of having more households. For the commercial and industrial sectors the numbers reflect a continued sluggish economy and a shift of the type of manufacturing performed in the US.

...a report by ERCOT...showed an increase in electricity usage in Texas for 2015. Since the 2008 recession the U.S. has seen a general population shift to the South and West. Population growth in Texas has likely offset the effect of more energy efficient building and federal energy efficiently standards and appliances. Texas has also seen cheap electricit­y rates for a number of years which takes some of the pressure off of consumers to conserve energy and spend on energy efficientl­y efforts. "

And as pointed out Texas solar is about to boom thanks to lower costs and coordination by ERCOT. Total installed solar in 2015 was only 288 MW. But it's projected to see new projects planned for 2,050 MW by the end of 2017: 1,200 MW contracted with financial security posted and 570 MW contracted with no financial security posted. These include the projects mentioned earlier for Austin, Georgetown and San Antonio.

And electricity consumption is projected to keep growing as more population and businesses relocate to Texas. Oddly even a couple of European heavy industry companies relocated plants to south Texas to take advantage of our cheaper energy. All of which explains why the state that produces more fossil fuels the any other is pushing so hard for renewable energy.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Zarquon » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 00:13:23

Just because it kept nagging me: the estimated land use of the Tumbleweed Solar Plant in Loving County. This time with better, i.e. even more credible, numbers (treating the county as one large roof and adding 30% underestimates land use a lot).

I'll leave the installed power at 275 GW and use 1-axis tracking. Standard modules, no concentrating arrays etc. That'll generate 580,181,250 MWh/a, which is 128% of current Texas consumption.

The NREL report gives us numbers on land use for *existing* solar power plants in the US. Average Total Land Use for larger projects (>20 MW), leaving ample space for roads etc., ranges from about 6 to 12 acres/MW(DC) of installed power. Average is 8.3. I guess we could pack them a little tighter, but what the hell. Now we need 3566 square miles.

Or we can go by energy yield: how many acres/GWh/a. Average is 3.3, but that doesn't factor in the actual location of the plant (you'd get less energy/acre in New Jersey). By that metric we'd need 2991 square miles. Same ballpark.

Damn. Wait... we generate 28% more than Texas uses. So 3566 reduce by that amount and we need 2785 sq mi. A little more than just Loving.

Loving County 669
Winkler County 841
Ector County 891
Half of Midland County 450
-------------
2851 sq mi

Given current consumption growth, just give me all of Midland. By the time the plant goes online, we'll need it.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 09:03:08

Radar, used infrequently, power is the PULE power. The instantaneous peak power in a pulse of emitted uWave energy, which lasts microseconds and is NOT indicative of the steady state power drain.

We cook on a small kerosene stove.

We swim, we sail naked.

Joking on the last naked bit. We do about one or two loads of laundry at a laundrymat about once every 2 weeks. In the meantime necessities are hand washed.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 09:25:54

Z - Great work...thanks. And given how much low value open land in west Texas we have you could probably go with the lowest cost infrastructure. Though less efficient we have a lot of room to spread out.

And again back to the big Texas advantage...ERCOT. Imagine instead of one agency having absolute authority over the entire process we had dozens of separate utilities and numerous local regulators. Take your example of New Jersey. You wouldn't need a single panel in the state let alone a plant. As long as the grid can handle it the solar field could be in Kentucky. Worked there once...lots of open spaces.

But there's probably the first big hurdle...the grid. It cost Texas tax payers $7 billion to upgrade our grid to get the juice from the sources to the consumers. Granted Texas is big. But not nearly as big as the eastern or western grids. And without each of those grids managed by its own "EXCOT" how could such an effort be coordinated among hundreds of utilities, state and local regulatory agencies, municipalities, etc? And then have to collect tens of $billions from all the states to pay for the upgrade. Obviously the taxpayers in west Texas didn't get much for their share of the upgrade bill...they didn't need it. So how will taxpayers in KY feel about contributing to a grid upgrade that primarily benefits other states much more it? In Texas it wasn't a problem...those folks in west Texas didn't have a choice: the state govt wrote the check from the general fund.

While all-powerful agencies such as ERCOT can seem a bit scary they can also be extremely efficient. As were the Nazis at the beginning of WWII. LOL.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 31 Jan 2017, 09:43:50

Newfie wrote:Radar, used infrequently, power is the PULE power. The instantaneous peak power in a pulse of emitted uWave energy, which lasts microseconds and is NOT indicative of the steady state power drain.

We cook on a small kerosene stove.

We swim, we sail naked.

Joking on the last naked bit. We do about one or two loads of laundry at a laundrymat about once every 2 weeks. In the meantime necessities are hand washed.


In the sailing navy days they would rub powdered soap on the dirty clothes then drag them behind the ship for an hour or so in a mesh bag or wicker basket to wash and agitate them. Then it was just a matter of rinsing them in fresh water to get the salt out for the under garments so they wouldn't chafe. It doesn't take much speed at all to agitate clothes pretty good dragging them in the wake waves.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Revi » Thu 16 Feb 2017, 21:33:46

I don't think that wind and solar are the wrong path, but I think that the way we use them is the wrong path. There is no way to keep up the kind of lifestyle we are living nowadays. We need to scale back all our activities. Then we might be able to live within the tiny budget and produce enough with a few solar panels.
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We had a power outage yesterday, and we were the only people in the neighborhood who had some lights, a woodstove going and the radio on. It was not bad at all. The electricity came from this one solar panel.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 16 Feb 2017, 22:00:40

Newfie wrote:
baha wrote:
Newfie - Depending on how old your panels are you could probably replace them with new and get 1.5 times the power from the same area. .


OR you could adjust your lifestyle and not need that much power.

Technology is NOT (the fundamental) answer. You say you respect Mother Earth? Then lighten up the load.

Or, that we are well over 7 billion in global population, and pushing hard to make that more like 10 billion by 2050.

Getting, say, me, to greatly cut my carbon footprint from before I had a clue about how bad the problem is, doesn't do ANY good as long as the population is growing rapidly AND the bulk of the new additions are likely to purse large carbon footprint lifestyles (large, as in all they can afford).

That's why I don't think it's fixable in time. Too much basic human nature to change. (And yes, a big part of my small carbon footprint contribution was the conscious decision not to have any kids).
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Revi » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 08:27:51

No, of course we are not going to become sustainable in the near future. It will take a hard crash to get us back in balance with nature, and that might happen.

In the meantime some of us are trying to not make things much worse.

It is the simplest, and most revolutionary act we can do nowadays.

And it seems to invite the most derision.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 15:33:55

I'll offer this. Here in California I signed up for a $0 down, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) solar lease, and within 5 months all the permits were done and I had a 2.8 kva solar array on my roof and an inverter and a 2nd power meter.

Things changed. Firstly the solar array had been sized at 90% of my average electrical power over the last 36 months. I spent $213 on LED and compact florescent bulbs, replacing all but seven in my house. Then I put certain outside lamps on motion detectors, and stopped leaving them on as "security lights". Then the fees and taxes changed, increasing my monthly costs for electricity by over $10. During this time I also acquired a portable A/C, and began using it in a formerly non-A/C home, but only when needed.

At this morning's monthly update, I have saved $1503 in electricity charges in six years, based on my spreadsheet. Even if you deduct the $213 I voluntarily spent in lighting upgrades, I am $1290 ahead. I think I would have bought the new bulbs anyway.

My home is a smallish suburban home on a tiny lot. Most people can benefit from solar.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Subjectivist » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 16:13:52

Click the link, a picture with words but makes my point beautifully.


https://www.facebook.com/R2ANM/photos/a ... 470622269/
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 16:51:00

Subjectivist wrote:Click the link, a picture with words but makes my point beautifully.


https://www.facebook.com/R2ANM/photos/a ... 470622269/


Except that poster ignores the facts about nuclear. Nuclear energy has a longer lead time and higher permitting cost and higher litigation costs during operations than any other power plant type.

Then in operations, since Jimmy Carter banned nuclear fuel recycling for danger of Plutonium proliferation, we use only refined and enriched uranium. The uranium ore is mined by petroleum fuelled machinery, then transported by truck, then enriched in Uranium hexafluoride high speed centrifuges spun by electricity produced largely from coal. Bottom line: nuclear power generates 20% of the atmospheric carbon as coal power, and that little only because reactors seldom need refuelling.

Solar and wind may be sporadic, but the reason we build gas turbine and hydropower "peaking" plants instead of more efficient diesel and steam turbine plants is to use them to compensate for sporadic power plants.

Don't mistake me for a nuclear critic, I'm very much pro-nuclear. I just believe in facts not BS. I also believe in solar and wind, and using such for off-grid residence-scale power.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Fri 17 Feb 2017, 18:20:13

KaiserJeep wrote:I'll offer this. Here in California I signed up for a $0 down, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) solar lease, and within 5 months all the permits were done and I had a 2.8 kva solar array on my roof and an inverter and a 2nd power meter.

Things changed. Firstly the solar array had been sized at 90% of my average electrical power over the last 36 months. I spent $213 on LED and compact florescent bulbs, replacing all but seven in my house. Then I put certain outside lamps on motion detectors, and stopped leaving them on as "security lights". Then the fees and taxes changed, increasing my monthly costs for electricity by over $10. During this time I also acquired a portable A/C, and began using it in a formerly non-A/C home, but only when needed.

At this morning's monthly update, I have saved $1503 in electricity charges in six years, based on my spreadsheet. Even if you deduct the $213 I voluntarily spent in lighting upgrades, I am $1290 ahead. I think I would have bought the new bulbs anyway.

My home is a smallish suburban home on a tiny lot. Most people can benefit from solar.

My system cost $3g for 1.5KW my power bills have gone from $1200 a year to $400 a year
Then under a Conservative state government they introduced higher connection costs and charges and lower feed in tariffs its now $600 a year.
Its more than paid for itself but I virtually got it for free, when the Federal government handed out helicopter money to everyone for the GFC.
So its the gift that keeps on giving................god bless democratic socialism.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Sat 18 Feb 2017, 00:40:59

Monk - Sounds like you've done great. But you didn't really get it for free per se...you got it at a cost subsidized by the govt/tax payers. But that doesn't necessarily mean the arrangement wasn't economic on a net level. But to judge the full value of the effort the cost of the subsidies need to be included.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby Fairestcape » Sat 18 Feb 2017, 09:38:32

Certainly is ironic that Texas (the oil state) seems to be leading the way with ERCOT's renewables initiatives. Solar + wind will be the future, where the benefits & limitations of each method help to cancel out the negatives. The planet's been powered by solar and wind for around 5 billion years now - as a species, we existed within its "framework" for almost 99% of our evolution, but when the industrial revolution of the late 18th / early 19th century raised energy demand exponentially (and has done ever since) we had to unlock the stored energy in hydrocarbons (starting with whale oils) at unsustainable rates.

On average, every square yard of the earth's surface is exposed to around 150 watts of solar energy every day. Plenty of variation here, but the average is about 150 - 160 watts. So, a square mile gets exposed to around 450,000,000 watts a day.

Elon Musk did the math some years ago showing that an area 100mi X 100mi of solar panels could theoretically provide sufficient power for the entire USA.

Even if we were to "sacrifice" a few area of this collective size in some of the barren regions in SW USA, it's a small price to pay in comparison to the damage carbon is doing globally.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 26 May 2017, 12:16:17

I am reluctantly on the side now of nuclear with state of the art Thorium Reactors.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 26 May 2017, 12:47:09

onlooker wrote:I am reluctantly on the side now of nuclear with state of the art Thorium Reactors.


Do you even realize how foolish that statement is?

Thorium reactors have never been used for nuclear power production, and even research on thorium power was abandonned over 30 years ago.

Thorium at best has decades of extremely expensive R&D before it can even be used. However by then, it might be uncompetitive with 5th generation uranium power, which has been in continuous uses since the 1950's.

Anything you read about thorium is for the most part nuclear physicists offering bait for government grants.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 26 May 2017, 12:49:06

So what nuclear sources if any are you in favor of K?
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 26 May 2017, 12:55:45

http://www.businessinsider.com/thorium- ... ftr-2017-2
Called a molten-salt reactor, the technology was conceived during the Cold War and forgoes solid nuclear fuel for a liquid one, which it can "burn" with far greater efficiency than any power technology in existence. It also generates a small fraction of the radioactive waste compared to today's commercial reactors, which all rely on solid fuel.

And, in theory, molten-salt reactors can never melt down.

"It's reliable, it's clean, it basically does everything fossil fuel does today," Kirk Sorensen, the chief technology officer of nuclear-energy startup Flibe Energy, told Business Insider. Sorensen was speaking during an episode of Business Insider's podcast Codebreaker, which is produced with National Public Radio's "Marketplace. "

"And it does a whole bunch of things it doesn't do today, like make energy without emitting carbon," he added, though the same could be said of any nuclear reactor.
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Re: Wind & Solar Are Wrong Path

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 26 May 2017, 13:26:12

I favor modern designs or so called "inherently safe" uranium-fueled reactors that do not melt when cooling ceases. I also favor retro-fitting many existing reactors with "passive emergency cooling", aka a large water tank on top, which can trickle-feed cooling water for however many days needed until emergency cooling pumps can be repaired or installed. Such designs would have prevented both the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island loss-of-cooling problems.

BTW, your MSR (molten salt reactor) is a uranium reactor. These are broadly classed by the type of coolant used as BWRs (boiling water reactors)(production), PWRs (pressurized water reactors)(production), MSRs (molten salt reactors)(experimental), and LSRs (liquid sodium reactors)(submarines only).
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